By the end of last summer were you sick of that “We Are Your Friends” song? You weren’t the only one. Jas Shaw is partly responsible for that ditty. The one-time member of Simian, and now splinter oufit Simian Mobile Disco, says: “It got to the point where I thought if I hear this one more time I’m gunna murder someone.” Originally called “Never Be Alone” French electro outfit Justice got their mitts on it for a remix competition and made “We Are Your Friends”. “It doesn’t bode well for our ability to choose remixes,” says Shaw of the track that lost out to some obscure bedroom remixer with a penchant for Spanish music. “It’s no disrespect for Justice but we didn’t really pay attention to the whole thing,” he adds from his home in London after a tour of Italy with Simian Mobile Disco.
What do you do to recover from a hectic tour? Anything formulaic?
No. Usually it involves a cup of tea, getting back into the studio and getting on with things. Otherwise you just mope around the house. Any spare time we go into the studio, plug things in and have a laugh. After these interviews we have about four or five hours in the studio. It doesn’t hurt to go in and have a play.
Is being in the studio something you’re addicted to?
We both travel with laptops so we can scribble down ideas as we go, but a lot of what we do is using the old kit that we have. So we might have bare-bones ideas for a bassline or chords, but you can’t get very far without plugging in all the old stuff. To really make tracks we need to be at my place or James’ place or in the studio. It’s not a necessity, we won’t explode, but that’s where the fun is at.
What does your live set consist of – if you are a mobile disco like your name suggests?
We haven’t played a live set yet but what we’re hoping to do is take as much of the studio as possible and make it roadworthy. But a lot of our stuff is from the ‘70s. We considered getting people in but the whole idea is to change the structure of tracks and change the mix. So it’s going to be us with old analog sequencers. We want to be able to tailor it to the crowd. So if we’re playing to an Indie crowd it’s short and punchy, if we’re playing to a club, we might play less tracks but super long. The main idea is to make a space that’s very variable.
I saw the video for your song “Hustler” involving a bunch of girls playing chinese whispers that turns into an all-girl orgy. Is that a regular Monday night at SimianMobile
The video has gone down unsurprisingly well. We have this mate who makes really interesting videos. He rang us up and said, “I’ve got this idea for a video. If you give me 500 quid for ‘party stuff’ I can make an unbelievable video.” We said, “We trust you, do your thing” and he sent us a video and we thought, you crazy bastard. The thing is, a lot of those girls are friends of ours!
Good mates to have. You’ve been to Australia once before, haven’t you?
Yeah, I’m trying to think. It was last year. James came out to do stuff with Chris from the Bumblebeez ‘cos we’re both fans of his stuff and I came out for a weekend and we did Sydney and Melbourne. Ah, Australia was great. Amazing weather, amazing place. It’s easy to see why a lot of English people come out for a year of work and end up staying.
Attack Decay Sustain Release is out now on Shock Records.